Saturday, December 26, 2015

Book Review: Once Upon a Winter's Heart by Melody Carlson (no spoilers)

 Book: Once Upon a Winter's Heart
Author: Melody Carlson
Publication: January 7th, 2014
Source: Local Library
Read: December 16th-26th, 2015
Summary (from goodreads):

Emma Burcelli has suffered over a decade of dating disasters. But she concludes that love is officially dead when her grandfather Poppi suddenly passes, leaving her grandmother Nona devastated. To help out, Emma works in the family bookstore, which Nona insists must be decked out in sweetheart décor as Poppi would have done for Valentine's Day. Although she feels like a V-Day Scrooge, Emma quickly learns to enjoy the task with the help of a handsome family friend, Lane Forester, who shows her that hanging hearts is much more fun when done to the tune of Dean Martin. As Emma and Lane share time and memories of Poppi, she reconsiders the notion that romance is alive.

 Just as Emma's heart begins to lift, however, she learns her sister has already staked a claim on Lane. Emma's mother and sister insist Lane only sees her as a future sister-in-law, but she can't help wondering if it could be something more.

In the heart of winter tragedy strikes. When Emma's beloved grandfather Poppi passes away Emma rushes home to be with her grandmother Nona and her family. Emma begins to help out in the family bookstore where she meets Lane Forester. Lane knew Poppi well and helps Emma remember fond memories and celebrate Poppi favorite holiday, Valentine's day. Romance is dead to Emma, but Lane helps her remember that love will find a way.

I randomly picked this book off my tbr list originally assuming it was a Christmas novel because of the title. I dove into the book without reading the synopis and boy was I surprised to find this be a valentine's day novel. I'm really glad I decide to keep reading this book because it was such a joy.

This book reminded me that in tragedy happiness can be found. Emma would have never returned to her family if Poppi had not passed away. She was one of those people that was too consumed to visit even for the holidays. When her family needed her she came and she realized the love and joy she was missing out of in her life. I loved to watch Emma interact with her nephew Tristan, who she hadn't seen for a long time. I loved watching Emma reconnect with her sister, Anne. Family was an important part of this novel.

Emma's time in the bookshop is where I could truly see her passion and love for Poppi. The place held so many memories and I could feel Poppi's presence when Emma was there. Lane Forester was an important part of the bookshop and I liked how Emma and Lane's relationship developed slowly and releastically throughout the novel. Lane is a very likeable, friendly, romantic guy, and he has a heart of gold like Poppi.

I'm so glad I decided to pick this book up this holiday season. I enjoyed this story and Melody Carlson wrote this book with the perfect mixture of sadness and happiness. I enjoyed this sentimental story.

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